Thursday, February 03, 2011

A Tale of Two Sweaters

I completed two sweaters in the same weekend a little while back.

Sweater one I started this past fall. Hallett's Ledge from Twist Collective, knit in buttery soft pure cormo from the Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm (now Juniper Moon Farm). I finished it in just a few months - pretty good for a lady who hasn't really been knitting much lately.

halletts - before

And that is as finished as you'll see it. Despite knitting, washing, blocking a swatch, this puppy ended up a good 3" smaller across the bust than expected. In all honesty, I had an inkling, especially once I knit the fronts, but this yarn blocks out so much, and I had swatched, for dog's sake. Sadly, a day after I seamed and blocked it, it hit the frog pond. The yarn is way to special to let it languish.

Halletts - after

Sweater number two began in a different decade from that which we occupy today. Despite having a speed-friendly gauge of 13st/4in and having no assembly required, it sat with maybe a day's worth of knitting and finishing left for over a year. It was one of those that I never even entered in Ravelry, or took one photgraph of. Alls well that ends well though, and I at least got one wearable sweater out of a weekend of finishing:


The pattern is Shalom Cardigan (Rav link), to which I added sleeves. All the yarn details are here on my Ravelry project page. I do love it though, it is soft and comfy and warm!

As if all of these sweaters are not exciting enough, there has also been spinning and a new sweater is in the making. Perhaps I'll save those for another post.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Bloggers Silent Poetry Reading

I have no idea who this poet is, but I share his sentiment.

Take Our Snow Please

As out the window,
I look, more snow today,
have only one thing to say,
take our snow please.

Six week-ends straight,
snow, snow every where,
have only one thing to say,
take our snow please, today.

So much snow, so much cold,
snow in the streets, snow in the yard,
snow on the car, snow on my shoe,
have only one thing to say,
take our snow please, we don't know what to do.

Winter, oh winter please end,
all of this snow, we don't really want it,
snow falling, flakes dropping
have only one thing to say,
take our snow please, don't delay.

Jim Foulk

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I Knit Something

Hello there! I'll save you the standard opening about not blogging*, blah, blah, blah. But I wanted to pop in to let you know that I knit something. Earth shattering, I know.

All the chatter about the new Quince & Co. yarns, led me to purchase a skein of their aran-weight in the pretty raspberry color they call "Sorbet". I decided to knit it up into a cool little piece that I queued in Ravelry about this time last year, but seeing as I wasn't really knitting between then and now, it sat there with all eleventy-billion other cool things I have queued.

The stars must have aligned or something and I actually managed to wind the yarn, cast on and knit it. Amazing, right?

Bertrand Louis Neck
Pattern: Bertrand Louis (Rav. link)
Yarn: Quince & Co. Osprey in "Sorbet", exactly all of one skein
Verdict (on both yarn and pattern): Love.

Its a cute little thing that works as a cowl or a hat, though I'm not sure I can pull off the hat to great effect, but I love it as a snug neck cosy.

Bertrand Louis Head

*quilting has taken over lately, and actual (gasp!) reading of books, to compete for my free time, but the knitting itch is coming back as fall arrives, so perhaps I'll be here more. Perhaps. You can always find me on Flickr and Twitter though if you miss me.

Friday, May 07, 2010


So I think the last time I spoke to you here, I was a wee bit obsessed with crocheting a Babbette blanket. Well, I finished it not long ago, and here are some pretty pictures for you. (all the yarn details, etc. on Ravelry here).

I appears that getting that out of my system has cleared the way for a new quest. I've completely succumbed to the quilting virus, which I manged to pick up on Flickr. I'm in the midst of making Dizzle a twin quilt for her bed, finished one quilted potholder swap, just joined a mini-quilt swap, and completed a baby quilt for a neighbor, which you see below.

I am not a newcomer to quilting, I did a little bit long before the blog, and most certainly before the kids. I think my knitting has given me a new enjoyment for working on making quilts again. I used to just.want.a.finished.piece. Having learned to love the process of my knitting, has helped me love the process of quilt making. I think I stoppped it partly because parts of it are super-fiddly, and if you mess up, sometimes you can't fix it (i.e. cutting fabrics), and I would get frustrated because my missteps kept me from my finished piece goal, and led me to want to cut corners (i.e not pressing, etc) for the sake of speed. I find myself really enjoying the less glamorous steps of making a quilt much more, and even not minding ripping out the same seam 3 times to get it just right. Which is a wonderful surprise to me.

So, expect to see more fabric here, though I most certainly will be still be knitting, and spinning, and crocheting and everything else as well.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Make My Funk the P. Funk

Now this is what I want you all to do:
If you got faults, defects or shortcomings,
You know, like arthritis, rheumatism or migraines,
Whatever part of your body it is,
I want you to lay it on your radio, let the vibes flow through.
Funk not only moves, it can re-move, dig?
The desired effect is what you get
When you improve your Interplanetary Funksmanship.

I'm in a serious funk. I have so much I need do do and so much that I want to do that it all becomes this massive insurmountable conglomeration in my head that seems completely overwhelming.

Every time I get some time to DO something, I become crippled by the big blob of possible choices, don't feel like doing the yucky ones, then feel guilty if I choose a yummy one over it, that I just end up sitting and doing nothing.

I need to lay my head on the radio and let the vibes flow through. I need to improve my Interplanetary Funkmanship. With that in mind, here is a list for myself. There are big things, there are little things, important and silly. Some I look forward to doing, others I don't. These aren't resolutions, just items on a list. I hope at least enumerating them for myself will help me get my Funkmanship back.

  • Write the fucking newsletter. Just do it. Before you have the next one breathing down your neck.
  • Take more self portraits before it gets dark out. Then you won't feel like they suck as much.
  • Get good (again) at bringing lunch in to work.
  • Find a project at work that excites you. If you can't, think about why that is.
  • Organize the fiber mountain in the front hall.
  • Find a way to keep dyeing with the new work schedule - make it happen, or it won't happen, and you love it and miss it, so do it.
  • Merge the online incarnations of yourself: 2 blogs, Flickr, Etsy, etc. are all too much to keep up with seperately - put them together as much as possible and update as you see fit, with no guilt about neglecting one thing for another.
  • Keep going to yoga - you're doing great with that, don't stop!
  • Follow through on your sewing idea/project.
  • Buy less yarn - seriously, you have plenty. No, really, there is enough. For real.
  • Purge some stuff - yarn/fiber/equipment. You have stuff you know you'll never use, stop clinging to it and let it go.
  • Go to spin night more often.
  • Chill out.
  • Laugh more.

Here's hoping for a funkadelic new year.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Glimpse Into My Brain

I'm going to give you a peek into how my monkey brain works. I finally dug out the Judy's Color stocking kit that I picked up about 2 years ago for Dizzle. Her brother has a nice handknit stocking, so I figured she deserved one too. But, I never got inspired to pull it out. Seeing as she's getting old enough to notice, I figured I should maybe get to work on it for this year.

Its knit with Rauma Strikkegarn, a yarn I've never worked with before. It is a wonderful tightly plied 3 ply, not too soft, not super-rough. I really, really love it. It also, as you might imagine from the above photo, comes in a ton of to-die-for colors. As I was happily stocking knitting, it occurred to me that this would be a most-excellent yarn for Babette.

"Babette?", you say. Yes, this Babette (I'm linking you to Maryse's photo of hers, because it was this one that made me want to make one). Two things about this blanket - it is large, and it is crochet. I am not a crocheter, or crochetier, if you prefer, which I do, because it sounds fancy.

About 3 months ago, I picked up a crochet hook in order to teach myself how to crochet, just so I could make this blanket. I've not made any finished objects, but I've practiced granny squares, hexagons, the wool eater blanket, and a few other things.

Back to last week: I was working with the Strikkegarn, thinking it would be perfect for Babette, and my brain decided that I would make Babette now and I would make it with this yarn. I spent embarrassing amounts of time online looking at colors, playing with the random stripe generator and generally obsessing about all things Babette - put yarns into my online cart and nearly bought it all at least 3 different times, but then would doubt my color choices. Adrian saw me Tweet about my obsession, and offered to send her Rauma color cards for me to look at - awesome! But that meant more waiting, if I were to be good and wait to see the colors in real life.

My brain did not want to wait, it wanted to crochet! With pretty colors! An afghan! NOW!!! In order to quell the crochet beast that was taking over my brain, I started a ripple afghan using some Silk Garden and a matchy neutral, both from stash.

That has bought me time to carefully choose colors and order my Rauma, which hopefully will arrive this week.

That is how monkey-brained me goes from knitting a stocking to having 2 afghan projects on the front-burner. Think Dizzle can wait one more year for that stocking?

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sneaky Yarn

You know how sometimes yarn has a mind of its own? I swear my sweater's worth of Araucania Nature Wool in a fabulous tealy-blue was destined to be knit, ripped, knit and ripped over and over. Its first incarnation was as a brioche ribbed sweater called Nieuwmarkt that I knit 8 inches into before discovering I didn't have gauge and it was sized for a 12 year old (do you have any idea how much knitting 8in in brioche is?). Demoralized, I frogged it and left the yarn to marinate in the stash for a while.

When Low Tide Ripples was published, I immediatly associated it with this yarn. I even remembered its traitorous nature and swatched with it before allowing myself to see it completed in my minds eye. I got gauge easily and cast on, making merry progress and enjoying the knitting greatly. It is constructed from the neck down, all on one piece, and if you scroll down to the post below this one, you'll see that I was a mere 3 inches from finishing the body before discovering sabotage that happened halfway back. I dutifully ripped and re-knit, pleased that I went back and fixed my mistake. Does anyone else do that whole internal back and forth about whether or not its worth it to go back and fix, or if you can live with the mistake - I swear it takes me more time to come to the decision to actually re-knit than it does to actually re-knit.

Sleeves were next, and as a made my way through the first ingeniously crafted, beautiful cabley and buttony sleeve pattern, I realized I was knitting them long enough to fit a baby giraffe leg. Once again, the yarn bitch-slapped me when I least expected it, and called for the 3rd frogging of its life. Luckily, I managed not to make the same mistake on sleeve two and in no time I had a well fitting, comfy fall sweater for myself, despite the yarn's deepest desire to not be confined into such a conformist destiny.

I will not be complacent, however, and am keeping vigilant watch for things that might snag or rip my new garment and help the yarn to achieve its desired fate.